Nipple waterers and baby chicks? ..anybody doing this?

Backyard Farm

Certified Personal Chicken Attendant
10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
419
2
131
I am wondering about nipple waterers for chicks .... say older than 4 days. I love the little cup waterers for the teenagers and adults but too hard for babies to use. Wonder if the little nipples can be used wth babies. Tired of having to change water 3-5 times per day so they have clean water.
thanks
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
384
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I've got a nipple waterer in my brooder. The chicks learn how to use it really quickly. It's SO much less messy (like zero mess), and no poop or shavings in the water, so it stays clean for them.

I'll be back in a few minutes with a photo of how I'm using one in my current brooder (but the chicks are a few weeks old now).

Heavy plastic container I found at GoodWill store:


Silver Sebright chick using it:


You can see the nipple better in this shot:


Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:

Backyard Farm

Certified Personal Chicken Attendant
10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
419
2
131
THANKS!! how old are they before you start using it? do you remember where you ordered it?

...again many thanks..

really want to give them constant clean water like I do the adults.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
384
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I built it myself, with nipples ordered from FarmTek. I have a bucket waterer in the run, with 3 nipples, a 1 gallon milk jug waterer in one coop, and a pitcher waterer in another. (But I understand a BYCer sells the nipples much more cheaply, due to the really high shipping cost from FarmTek.) You'll find a couple of sources in this thread:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=4120522

I usually buy chicks about a week old, from the feed store, and I put the nipple waterer in the brooder right away, WITH a regular waterer just so the chicks have what they are used to using at the feed store, for a day or two. Then I take the regular waterer out and start "training" the chicks with the nipple waterer.

They get it right away. Just tap on the nipple so the water drips, they come running over to investigate. Keep it up for a few minutes and then take your hand away. The chicks will peck at the nipple and learn that water comes from it.

They teach each other.
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
Quote:Your nipple drinkers appear to be way to low, at least for the bird in the pic.
Base the height of the nipple drinker on the size of the birds. On Day One, the trigger pin should be just slightly higher than the chicks' eye level. As the birds find the drinkers, raise the lines slightly, encouraging the chicks to stretch their necks. By the second or third day, drinker height should encourage the chicks to peck at about a 45-degree angle. As the birds age, continue to raise the drinkers. By four weeks, the drinker height should require the birds to peck at about a 50- to 55-degree angle.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
384
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Quote:Yes, thank you. As I was taking the photographs, I realized I needed to raise it again. I'd lowered it for the bantams, originally, and now that the LF chicks are taller, I was trying to achieve a sort of happy medium.

Off to raise the waterer. Thanks, Neil!
 

chicnchic

Songster
9 Years
May 1, 2010
195
1
111
NH
I am planning to use the nipples for my chickens as they get older....but started them off on a gerbil waterer!
They learned fast (1/2 hour after getting them home), and are doing well with it!
 

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